Wine branches out

25 May, 2016

“The fruits category is extremely important for recruiting new consumers into wine,” says Accolade’s White. “Despite being in market for more than 18 months, 49% of Echo Falls Fruit Fusions sales are coming from consumers who are incremental to the wine category as a whole.”

According to Kantar Worldpanel (52 weeks to 28/02/2016), 40% of spend is from shoppers under the age of 45, compared to only 21% for total still wine.

Kingsland’s Taylorson picks up the point: “Wine fusion drinks can be viewed by consumers who’d usually turn to cider and cocktails as a new way of entering the wine category. This could therefore be a chance for the wine category to take back some market share, which in recent years has migrated to ciders and cocktails.

“The sweeter flavour profile of flavoured wines will engage predominantly with consumers currently buying into cocktails in the on-trade and fruit-flavoured ciders both in the on and off-trade. It is a way into the wine category which is less traditional and more approachable for consumers who might currently find wine a confusing category to shop.”

Converting consumers might be easier said than done, according to Reh Kendermann’s Flemming. “It’s a challenge to encourage the fruity drinker to move on to ‘real’ wine once his or her adventure at this entry level has been satisfied.”

POSITIONING

Accolade’s White says the fruit fusion category is fast growing, so retailers should consider giving the appropriate level of space to these products. “Where possible, they should also merchandise whites and rosés in chiller units to fully maximise on the impulse purchase occasion,” she says.

Taylorson seconds this. She says: “Currently, the biggest challenge for flavoured and fusion wines is where to merchandise in store. As the target consumer is more likely to shop the cider fixture, ranging this new style of product within wine is likely not to be the most effective way to promote sales.”

This poses an additional problem. “Communicating the product and how it will taste to the consumer in an appealing way can be a challenge for marketing,” Taylorson says. “At Kingsland we are working on a number of exciting launches, which we believe will connect with consumers in a new and motivating way.”

PRICING

Pricing is also a stumbling block. Flemming says: “It’s difficult to keep the retail price buoyant as market pressure has led to very low pricing, no doubt with an accompanying reduction in retailer margins and a need for more SKUs to keep absolute margin at a similar level.”

FUTURE

Kingsland Drinks thinks the flavour furore has legs. So much so that it has led to it investing in regenerating its winery. “The regeneration will allow us to offer an additional service to our customers and gives us the flexibility to blend, infuse and ferment wine, spirits and cocktail-based products,” Taylorson says. “Providing they are marketed so they appeal to the right consumer, the future for fusion and fruit-flavoured wines could be very bright.”

Kingsland is currently working on developing new and innovative products which target this growth area of the market. Taylorson was tight-lipped, but did say more will be revealed at the London Wine Fair later this month.





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